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Wellness FAQs

Flowers at Boise State
Campus Scenes, Spring 2019, Dominic Duarte photo

Frequently Asked Health + Wellness Questions!

BroncoFit FAQs

What is "BroncoFit"?

To be BroncoFit means to work towards creating America’s healthiest learning environment through all aspects of well-being. Simply put, BroncoFit means “wellness” here at Boise State! 

Can I work for BroncoFit?

We hire both undergraduate and graduate students at BroncoFit! Our positions open each Spring, so keep an eye out on Handshake or email us at wellness@boisestate.edu

General Health FAQs

How much caffeine is too much?

Healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine a day (that’s about 4 cups of coffee).

Caffeine is also found in teas, energy drinks, chocolate, and other foods and beverages. Learn more about caffeine consumption from the FDA .

How much sleep do I need?

7-9 hours! For more on sleep health, visit the National Sleep Foundation 

Sexual Health FAQs

How often should I get tested for STDs?

In general, you should be tested at least once a year for STDs. Depending on your sexual activity (like how many sexual partners you have or what type of sex you are having) your healthcare provider may suggest being tested more frequently. You should ask your provider to find out how often getting tested makes sense for you!

What should I expect when I’m getting an STD test?

It is important to be open and honest with your healthcare provider about your sexual activity. Your provider will first ask you questions about what type of sex you are having, how many partners you are sexually active with, and if you have any particular questions or concerns you would like to ask them about. 

Depending on what STDs your provider may ask you for any of the following: 

    • a blood sample (from either a blood draw or a finger prick)
    • a urine sample
    • a swab of the inside of the mouth
    • a swab from the genitals, such as the urethra (penis) or the cervix (vagina) 
    • A swab from the rectum
    • a swab of any discharge or sores

Depending on what you have been tested for, some samples can provide immediate results, however, it is likely that your provider will have to contact you at a later date with test results.

Which STD tests should I get?

  • All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
  • All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
  • All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy. At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Testing should be repeated as needed to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
  • All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently for STDs (i.e., at 3- to 6-month intervals).
  • Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
  • Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.

Where can I get tested for STDs?

You can get tested and find other sexual health resources through our on-campus clinic, Health Services. 

Want to get tested somewhere else or are looking for a location out of state? Enter your zip code and find an STD testing center near you! 

Can I still have sex with someone who has HIV?

If you and your partner both take preventative steps, yes, you can still safely have sex! Prevention efforts should include:

    • The person who is HIV positive should take their prescribed medication.
    • The person who is NOT HIV positive may consider taking “PrEP” (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a medicine that significantly reduces your chances of contracting HIV. 
    • If the person who is NOT HIV positive may have been exposed, they may consider taking “PEP” (post-exposure prophylaxis), a medicine that could help prevent HIV after exposure. 
    • Use condoms correctly, every time you have sex. 

Learn more from the CDC 

What birth control is right for me?

Having an open and honest conversation with your healthcare provider is important to identify which birth control option is right for you! 

For a general idea, you can also take this quiz from Planned Parenthood! 

Can I get pregnant while I’m on my period?

Yes, though it is less likely than when you are not on your period. 

Can I get pregnant if its my first time having sex?

Yes! Ejaculated sperm can also remain alive for up to 5 days after sex. Fertilization is still possible as long as the sperm remains alive.

What should I do if the condom breaks?

If you are having vaginal sex:

    • Immediately stop, the condom is no longer acting as a barrier method to protect against STIs or pregnancy. If you would like to continue having sex, replace the condom with a brand new one. 
    • If unwanted pregnancy is a concern, consider taking emergency contraception (often called “the morning after pill”) within 72 hours (even if the partner with a penis hasn’t ejaculated, the partner with a vagina could still have been exposed to sperm).
    • If you or your partner has a known STD, consider discussing the situation with your healthcare provider. 
    • If you or your partner are HIV positive, consider going to an emergency service clinic to begin a 28-day antiviral medication, “PEP” (post-exposure prophylaxis), which must be started within 72 hours.

If you are having anal sex:

      • Immediately stop, the condom is no longer acting as a barrier method to protect against STIs. If you would like to continue having sex, replace the condom with a brand new one. 
      • If you or your partner has a known STD, consider discussing the situation with your healthcare provider.
      • If you or your partner are HIV positive, consider going to an emergency service clinic to begin a 28-day antiviral medication, “PEP” (post-exposure prophylaxis), which must be started within 72 hours  
      • Consider getting tested for HIV 18-90 days after this incident occurs. Due to the sensitivity of anal tissue, HIV transmission is more likely to occur through this type of sex. HIV tests can only provide accurate results once your body has had enough time to potentially build enough antibodies to show up on a test. The type of test you get will determine the accuracy and how quickly you can be tested. For more information on HIV testing, go to hiv.gov 

If you are having oral sex:

    • Immediately stop, the condom is no longer acting as a barrier method to protect against STIs. If you would like to continue having sex, replace the condom with a brand new one. 
    • If you or your partner has a known STD, consider discussing the situation with your healthcare provider.

Is it unhealthy to masturbate?

Not at all! Masturbation can be great for both your mental and physical health. Possible benefits are: released sexual tension, reduced stress, improved sleep, relief from menstrual cramps 

Learn more from Planned Parenthood. 

Is the “morning after pill” safe?

    • When used as directed, emergency contraceptives, or “the morning after pills” are safe! 
    • Emergency contraception is made out of the same hormones found in birth control, just at higher doses. 
    • The Paragard IUD (made out of copper) is the only emergency contraceptive method that does not contain hormones. 

Learn more here: www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/morning-after-pill-emergency-contraception

Alcohol + Other Drugs FAQs

Are there any health benefits to drinking?

Multiple studies have shown a relationship between light to moderate drinking and the reduced risk of having a heart attack or Cardiovascular Disease.

Learn more about balancing the risks and possible benefits of consuming alcohol from Harvard.

How much is safe to drink?

  • Men = 5 standard drinks in 2 hours
  • Women = 4 standard drinks in 2 hours 
  • A safer way to consume alcohol is pacing your standard drinks at a rate of one drink per one hour

What should I do if I think my friend has alcohol poisoning?

If you are on-campus:

  • Call for help from Campus Security (208) 426-6911, blood alcohol content (BAC) continues to rise even after someone stops drinking, so it’s important to call for help quickly instead of trying to wait it out. 
  • Remember, you are protected underneath Boise State Amnesty Protocol to ensure your own safety when calling for help. 
  • If you are in a Housing and Residence Life facility, notify the RA on staff once you have called Campus Security.

If you are off-campus:

  • Call 911 and seek medical attention
  • Remember, you are protected underneath Boise State Amnesty Protocol to ensure your own safety when calling for help. 

Is vaping bad?

“Vaping” is bad for your health!!! You are not inhaling “water vapor” like tricky marketing would have you believe, but actually, an aerosol filled with heavy metals and chemicals. Beyond being proven to cause addiction, which changes the way your brain is able to work, vaping (including JUULing, e-cigarettes, dabbing, and other technologies) has also been shown to cause irreversible lung damage.

Learn more from Health and Human Services.

What happens if I get caught with marijuana/cannabis in Idaho?

  • Marijuana/cannabis and paraphernalia are illegal to possess, distribute or cultivate in Idaho. 
  • Depending on the amount of cannabis you possess will determine the penalty. Most offenses will result in a misdemeanor or felony charge, a 1-5 year incarceration, and a $1,000-$50,000 fine. 

Learn more about Idaho’s policy from the Office of Drug Policy.

Mental Health FAQs

Do I need to have insurance to use Boise State's Counseling Services?

Nope! We do accept most insurances, but also offer payment plans for those without insurance, or without accepted insurance!

Is Counseling offered over Zoom?

Yes! Virtual sessions are called “tele-health” and it means you can see your provider virtually!

Can I text a Counselor?

You can text “home” to 741-741 to speak to a counselor 24/7! This is a national service that you can access from anywhere!

Quick tips to de-stress?

Move. Eat. Sleep. Move at least 30 minutes a day in ways that make you feel good. Eat a variety of foods that are nutritious and enjoyable! Sleep should be a priority! Aim for 7-9 hours a night and take naps (in addition to 7-9 hrs)

I'm worried about my friend, is there anything I can do?

If you are worried for the well-being or safety of someone you know at Boise State, Submit a CARE report and university staff will reach out to them. Go to CARE.boisestate.edu

Food + Nutrition FAQs

I am new to living on my own, where do I start with following a nutritious lifestyle while living in the resident hall?

The transition to resident hall dining is difficult for many reasons; new found freedom, lack of structure, and new foods! While it is important to enjoy a variety of foods, remember that eating from each food group provides many health benefits. 

When you make your plate, aim to include:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (salad bar, sliced fruit, berries, etc)
  • Protein (grilled chicken, eggs, yogurt, etc)
  • Unsaturated fats (avocado, olive oil, tuna fish, nuts)
  • Whole grains (oatmeal, wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa) 

Have more questions? Speak with registered dietitian, Jessica Butler, for general nutrition questions or talk about your special dietary needs. Contact: butler-jessica1@aramark.com or (208) 426-2349.

How much protein do I need in a day?

Protein needs vary depending on a person’s size, activity level, activity type, age, and pre-existing conditions. Generally, this is the recommended protein intake:

Age Sex Daily Protein Rec
14-18 years Male 6½ ounce equivalents
19-30 years Female 5½ ounce equivalents
19-30 years Male 6½ ounce equivalents

These recommendations for protein are provided in one-ounce equivalents:

  • One ounce of cooked meat, poultry, or fish
  • ¼ cup cooked beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ½ ounce nuts or seeds

What are good sources of non-meat based protein?

Nut butters, nuts, legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), soy (tofu, tempeh, edamame), eggs, dairy products, quinoa

I have a food allergy, is there someone I can talk to about my specific dietary needs while dining on campus?

Yes, ask Jess! Dining services registered dietitian, Jessica Butler, is your guide to healthy eating at Boise State. Ask general nutrition questions or talk about your special dietary needs. Contact: butler-jessica1@aramark.com or (208) 426-2349.

How can you tell which supplements are safe to buy?

Remember that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins will likely provide you with your needed vitamins and minerals. If you feel your diet is well-rounded you likely do not need to take a supplement.

If you decide you are in need of additional nutrients, look for supplements that have been third-party certified. This means that an organization that is not the supplement company vouched for the quality, manufacturing, and ingredients listed. Third-party regulation certifications to look for: NSF, NSF Sport, and USP

Lastly, only take the supplement as recommended to avoid toxicity.

What should I do if I cannot afford groceries this week?

Quick snack ideas?

Apple and nut butter, cheese and crackers, trail mix, fruit and yogurt, hard-boiled eggs with fruit, veggies, and hummus, lunch meat, and tortilla roll-up. 

For a filling snack, try to include protein, carbohydrates, and fat. We call these mini-meals!

There are so many diets, how do I know which is the best to follow?

We are all unique when it comes to what type and amount of food our body wants. Rather than following a trendy diet that tries to fit everyone into one group, listen to what your body needs. 

Mindful eating is the practice of listening to your hunger and fullness, enjoying a variety of foods without judgment, and noticing how different foods make you feel. So, rather than following a specific eating plan, listen to what your body is telling you!

Are carbohydrates okay to eat?

Yes! Carbohydrates are important for brain function, energy level, vitamin and mineral consumption, digestion, and so much more. Carbohydrates are found in many foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products.

Employee Wellness FAQs

What is BroncoFit Wellness Release Time?

Boise State benefit-eligible employees are allotted 60 minutes of BroncoFit wellness release time per week with supervisor approval. On-campus activities will be approved as well as some off-campus activities in which the supervisor can request documentation. The 60 minutes can be used all at once or divided throughout the week (15 minutes for four days a week, 30 minutes for 2 days a week, etc.) To utilize this service, please fill out the BroncoFit-Release-Time-Form.

What are my mental health benefits as an employee?

All eligible employees can access the employee assistance program (EAP), which covers five counseling sessions per year for you or anyone in your immediate family. Boise State’s Counseling Services is an approved EAP provider, so employees are able to utilize the on campus counselors. For more information on the EAP, visit the Human Resources website.

Employees are also invited and encouraged to attend Midday Mindfulness, 10-15 minute sessions focused on breathing and relaxation. Click here for more information and to sign up.

What do the employee wellness champions do?

Wellness champions act as liaisons between BroncoFit and their teams. They receive information on upcoming programs and are asked to send it on to the employees in their department. They are also encouraged to participate in programs that interest them and ask coworkers to join them. Wellness Champions have a huge impact on our campus, helping employees be aware of what is available to them and increasing participation in all programs. Are you interested in this small time commitment that’s fun, engaging, and focused on wellbeing? Email hollylevin@boisestate.edu to get signed up.

What Health Services do I have access to?

Boise State employees have full access to our on campus health clinic! This includes medical, counseling, and wellness services. Employees can utilize our medical providers as primary care or urgent care. We accept the Blue Cross of Idaho plan through Boise State, and we also accept most other insurances. Please call (208) 426-1459 to schedule or for questions.

How do I find the latest BroncoFit programs available to me?

The employee page on the BroncoFit website will have the most updated information on all available programs. If you have an employee wellness champion within your department, they will have the latest updates as well!